SharkTruth.com: a unique approach to battling shark finning

SharkTruth's Happy Hearts Love Sharks contest encourages participants to skip shark fin soup on their wedding day in hopes of winning a trip to dive with whale sharks. (Image courtesy of SharkTruth.com)

Shark fin soup has traditionally been viewed as a sign of wealth in Chinese culture, and a lack of it at a wedding banquet can have negative implications. Shark Truth founders, Claudia Li and Vivian Kwong, created the non-profit group with the idea of educating people of Asian cultures about the practice of finning to harvest shark fins used in the traditional delicacy. Their “Stop the Soup” pledge offers couples a valid reason to forgo shark fin soup on their wedding day, and their “Happy Hearts Love Sharks” contest provides even more incentive to make that pledge.

The Happy Hearts Loves Sharks Wedding Contest is open to couples who will be getting married between May 10 – December 31, 2010 and will be having a wedding banquet at a Chinese restaurant. Contestants who live within the Greater Vancouver (British Columbia) Regional District will be eligible for prizes including a whale shark dive trip in Mexico and $500 wedding portrait photography package, while international contestants (all those living outside the Greater Vancouver Regional District) will be eligible to win an underwater digital camera and an “adopt a shark” package.

Contestants will submit either a video or photo pledge to “Stop the Soup,” in which the contestants will pledge not to serve shark fin soup at their wedding banquet. The video and photo submissions will be uploaded to the Shark Truth Facebook fan page, where votes will be recorded based on the number of “likes” clicked.

Kudos to SharkTruth.com for using some creativity in making effort towards actually curbing shark fin soup consumption! When the demand for the soup stops, so will the finning.

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